|United Baptist-Presbyterian Church||
Dear Brothers & Sisters:
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:3 NIV
What we call “worship” today can be traced clear back to these words of John’s Pastoral Epistle. For over two thousand years, the people of Jesus the Christ have been gathering in His name to glorify, praise, and thank the God of the universe for His rich gift of grace which emanates from the life and work of our Savior and Lord. Here at UBPC we gather each week as we proclaim what the Apostles of Jesus saw and heard as we develop a deep fellowship with each other and with our Great God!
Just in case you didn't know, on the first Sunday of March we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of our association together! To me, the last 10 years have gone by so quickly it's almost unbelievable! It was in the fall of 2006 when Ron Schafer called me and asked if I would be interested in a position at the United Baptist Presbyterian Church in Mount Ayr, Iowa. At that time I was serving a small Baptist church in Wolcottville, Indiana part time, and also working full-time as a custodian at the local high school. The invitation interested me, especially when I realized that two older churches, one Baptist and the other Presbyterian, had united their congregations and built a new church. I had always been, and remain, ecumenically minded and it is forever such joy to see two different faith traditions join together as one! After several interviews with the pulpit committee, I was invited to candidate for the position on the Sunday before Thanksgiving in 2006. The vote returned a 100% call and I eventually moved to Mount Ayr the first of March 2007 beginning our wonderful relationship!
Over these 10 years we have seen a great deal of growth, both spiritual and numerical, have fellowshipped together during our Sunday morning messages, monthly potluck dinners, Sunday school classes, Bible studies, weddings, funerals and ministry projects. We have enjoyed many successes and endured several failures, but through it all I believe that we have stood the test of time and are all wonderfully blessed, encouraged, and better for the time we have spent together for our wonderful Savior and Lord! We have been involved in building churches and building lives as well as adding concrete, a garage, a bell monument, and just recently a wonderful new paint job to spruce up the inside!
Personally, I feel supremely blessed that God chose to bring us together! I love each and every one of you with the love of Christ and I so value and respect your friendship, work ethic and growth in the Lord. Every one of you has a special place in my heart, and although I know some day our relationship will come to an end, I will carry your memories with me to heaven! I want to thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for putting up with me, supporting me, and encouraging me! The thing that gets me up each morning is realizing that I get to go to work for the greatest employer in the world and that I will have the opportunity to be with such wonderful people who share in that love.
I don't know what the future holds for us. But I do know that this church is a viable force in the community and that as you continue to grow and serve, UBPC will persevere and better this community for Jesus! Again, thank you so much for our time together!
Peace & Love: